Stories

A new way to chart ideological leanings in news media

Data: John Wihbey, Thalita Dias Coleman, Kenneth Joseph, and David Lazer. 2017. Exploring the Ideological Nature of Journalists' Social Networks on Twitter and Associations with News Story Content; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

New data from Northeastern University shows a correlation between a journalist's social network and the content they produce. The data scientists that conducted the study found a reasonably clear relationship between the ideological leaning of the accounts a journalist follows on Twitter and the news content he or she produces.

Note: The methodology for determining ideological slant of journalists comes from the researchers at Northeastern, and is based on the articles journalists write. They first extracted phrases indicative of a left or right leaning ideology, and then they score journalists based on the number of times they express these terms in their articles. They discuss each of these pieces in more detail here.